Restaurant investment mogul Roark Capital, who owns major chains like Carl's Jr. and Arby's, is looking to buy Buffalo Wild Wings to add another big restaurant player to its arsenal.
An unnamed source confirmed to CNBC that Roark made an offer to Buffalo Wild Wings for over $150 a share. At that benchmark price, the company would sell for approximately $2.3 billion. BWW's stock had been trading at $117 per share prior to news of the offer breaking, and has since flown up to $147.50 each.
Buffalo Wild Wings hasn't had the best of years, having dropped 60% in sales in the second quarter of this year. On top of that, it's had to combat a shortage of chicken wings, increased restaurant competition, and more consumers preferring to dine at home. While the chain has been able to overcome many of those obstacles, beating third quarter earnings expectations this year, a private equity buyout from a company like Roark could be useful in helping it rise above its rivals.
A buyout would also take Buffalo out of the hands of activist investor Marcato Capital. The firm has been demanding that BWW refranchise the 638 locations owned by corporate, leading to arguments that eventually led to CEO Sally Smith's resignation. Marcato has since placed three nominees on BWW's board to move forward with their vision. Roark's buyout would prevent Marcato from refranchising the corporate-owned restaurants, but it doesn't meant that Roark wouldn't do the same thing as them.
If the deal were to go through, it would be Roark Capital's largest acquisition in history. Considering that it owns companies like Carl's Jr., Jimmy John's, and Arby's, that's pretty impressive.